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Body Dialectics in the Age of Goethe

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In opposition to an essentialist conceptualization, the social construct of the human body in literature can be analyzed and described by means of effective methodologies that are based on Discourse Theory, Theory of Cultural Transmission and Ecology, System Theory, and Media Theory. In this perspective, the body is perceived as a complex arrangement of substantiation, substitution, and omission depending on demands, expectations, and prohibitions of the dominant discourse network. The term Body-Dialectics stands for the attempt to decipher – and for a moment freeze – the web of such discursive arrangements that constitute the fictitious notion of the body in the framework of a specific historic environment, here in the Age of Goethe.

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